Football is Boring

I am back. Apologies to my one reader (AJ) – I have been rubbish at writing recently, partly out of laziness but mainly due to a new job. But mainly laziness. 

Anyway…football is boring. There, I said it, and I’m not taking it back. My girlfriend, who has been saying it for years, is finally vindicated. Before people start rolling their eyes and reeling off the exciting games they’ve watched, like both the Champions Leagues semi-finals, I am not denying that football still has its moments. Is there anything quite like the rush of being 2-0 down in the 85th minute after an entire game of shocking play, before scoring the three scrappiest goals in history to beat a local rival? (Sorry, Villa fans.) But overall, football has become a real snoozefest lately. We even had the same two teams in each Cup final this year, and they collectively played 240 minutes with ZERO goals.

Of course, this isn’t exactly a revelation, that football has been on a downward trajectory for a long time now, no longer a game but a billion-dollar money-making machine. The sheer amount of money involved now has made challenging the status quo near impossible. There have been a few attempts in recent years to break into the top six of the Premier League, Leicester being of course the most successful having actually won the league and FA Cup, but it’s the exception that proves the rule. (Wolves and West Ham have also made attempts, and failed)

It’s difficult to talk about why teams can’t compete with the top six without coming across as a tinfoil hat conspiracy nut. After all, most clubs now have mega wealthy owners and Financial Fair Play is a joke. Is it because the media and the people running the sport want the top six to remain the top six from a revenue point of view? There is a compelling reason to believe this. The top six bring in the most revenue for Sky and BT Sport, and it’s better for the FA and UEFA if these clubs are competing in Europe. Teams that are better supported abroad equals more money lining the ‘right people’s’ pockets; and let’s be honest, refereeing decisions are either consistently shit or corrupt. I used to believe the former but I am now leaning towards the latter.

In the words of Jerry Maguire: “SHOW ME THE MONEY!” It’s everywhere in the sport now. Prize money, TV money, relegation money. It’s having a huge impact on the Championship as well. Teams who get relegated are now given the most insane leg-up in the form of ‘parachute payments’ that we’re seeing some football clubs (*cough* Norwich), yo-yoing constantly in an attempt, a cynic might say, to maximise the spoils. For the most part, it’s just the same teams going up and down constantly. For a long-standing Championship side, the only way to get promoted is to gamble your club’s future and massively overspend to even compete with the teams coming down from the Premier League. At this rate next year it’s going to be Watford and Norwich promoted with Burnley going up against the season’s overperformers who were still only able to finish sixth. How tedious. And because of that I will be rooting for Forest in the Championship playoffs.

So what needs to change to bring football back to its glory days? I have a few suggestions, none of which will ever come to pass. The first is to bring in actual accountability for referees and VAR. Perhaps some sort of Referee’s Question Time where they have to come out and explain why {INSERT TOP SIX TEAM HERE} dodged a blatant penalty against them but subsequently got a similar decision in their favour.

I can’t take all the credit for the next one as it was suggested by a work colleague, but club wage limits, similar to the NFL, would also do a good job of leveling the playing field. Each club would have a maximum total amount they can spend on wages. So you want to pay Mbappé an insane amount of money? Cool cool, but it’ll come at the expense of other positions. 

In addition to this, they should also bring in maximum spend limits for a season. For instance, each club has, say, £100m to spend per season, and once it’s gone, it’s gone. So if you spend £80m on Harry McGuire, you now only have £20m to spend. This would result in more fluctuation in the league, and you could feasibly see a Brighton or a Palace on the rise as they spend well, or at Arsenal or United fall as they get it completely wrong. Rebuilds would actually be a thing, and it would allow newly-promoted teams to compete and…maybe even win!? We can but dream.

One thought on “Football is Boring

  1. Hi Mike

    Very good. I like the accountability for refs. That push at Anfield last Sunday would have been a penalty if it happened in the other penalty area.

    Money is the root of all evil. Without the silly money, all sorts of teams could compete in the past. And all the silly short passes and short goal kicks are f=driving me to distraction.

    Assume you will still be using your season ticket next season though!



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